PURPOSE: The 6 minute walk test (6 MWT) has been shown to provide a clinically useful index of functional capacity in patients with severe obesity and also cardiovascular diseases. In a prospective study, the aims were to document this determination along with other cardiopulmonary measurements in a morbidly obese population.
METHODS: Patients (n= 47) had age of 39.9 ±11.3 years, 91.5% females, and body mass index was 48.5±9.5 kg/m2. The 6MWD was based on the male and female equations of respectively (7.57x height) –(5.02x age) –(1.76 × weight) –309 and (2.11 × height) –(2.29 × weight) –(5.78 × age) + 667. In addition cardio-respiratory variables, arterial pressure and Borg's fatigue index were registered every minute.
RESULTS: Patients often became exhausted during the test and 6.4% (3/47) did not finish the walk. Aberrations of standard physiologic parameters did not occur. However, distance walked was significantly reduced in comparison with predicted value 419±37 vs 527±81 m (p< 0.05), and actually no patient achieved the normal value.
CONCLUSION: 1)Physiologic limitations of sedentarism were certainly involved, but bone and joint discomfort sometimes interfered as well. 2) Obese patients were unfit in the six-minute walk test. 3) Normal conventional cardiopulmonary determinations didn`t rule out serious deficiencies in performance of the obese population.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT) is commonly used to assess aerobic capacity in patients with severe obesity and evaluate functional of cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
DISCLOSURE: Shirley Fabris De Souza, None.